Plant disease-resistance genes play a critical role in providing resistance against pathogens. The largest family of resistance genes are the nucleotide-binding site (NBS) and leucine-rich repeat (LRR) genes. They are classified into two major subfamilies, toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR)-NBS-LRR (TNL) and coiled-coil (CC)-NBS-LRR (CNL) proteins. We have identified and characterised 641 NBS-LRR genes in Brassica napus, 249 in B. rapa and 443 in B. oleracea. A ratio of 1 : 2 of CNL : TNL genes was found in the three species. Domain structure analysis revealed that 57% of the NBS-LRR genes are typical resistance genes and contain all three domains (TIR/CC, NBS, LRR), whereas the remaining genes are partially deleted or truncated. Of the NBS-LRR genes, 59% were found to be physically clustered, and individual genes involved in clusters were more polymorphic than those not clustered. Of the NBS-LRR genes in B. napus, 50% were identified as duplicates, reflecting a high level of genomic duplication and rearrangement. Comparative analysis between B. napus and its progenitor species indicated that >60% of NBS-LRR genes are conserved in B. napus. This study provides a valuable resource for the identification and characterisation of candidate NBS-LRR genes.
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Vol. 69 • No. 1